Office of the Senate President
900 Court St., N.E., Room S-201
Salem OR 97301
March 1, 2012
Legislators Work to Clean Up Oregon
Measure Will Improve Highway Rest Areas
Senate Bill 1591 transfers management of 17 more rest areas to the Oregon Travel Experience, the semi-independent state agency credited with cleaning up and revitalizing the Baldock rest area on I-5 just south of Wilsonville.
The measure, sponsored jointly by Senator Chuck Thomsen and Senate President Peter Courtney, passed the House Thursday, one day after winning unanimous approval in the Senate.
“I am proud of the way this bill came together, with lots of hard work from a lot of people,” said Chuck Thomsen (R-Hood River.) “The rest stop at Government Camp, and others like it, should be more than just a place to stretch your legs. This is a way we can put Oregon’s best face forward.”
“In Oregon we keep our highways clean. We keep our beaches clean. We keep our parks and our trails clean. We should keep our rest areas clean, too. The grounds should be clean. The sidewalks should be clean. The restrooms should be clean,” said Courtney (D-Salem/Gervais/Woodburn) “Oregon Travel Experience gets it. They want the job and they’ve done a remarkably well with the rest areas we given them so far.”
OTE took over management of the Baldock rest area and six others as a result of the 2009 Oregon Jobs and Transportation Act. At the time, Baldock had earned a reputation of littered grounds, dirty restrooms and safety concerns.
Since 2010, that reputation has changed. Baldock’s grounds are now mostly litter free; the restrooms are clean; and the traveling public feels safe there again, Courtney and Thomsen said.
Since the initial legislation in 2009, two additional rest areas have also been transferred to OTE from the Oregon Department of Transportation. Transfer of the rest areas listed in SB 1591 will take place over the next 22 months. When the transfers are complete OTE will have management responsibility for 26 of the state’s 77 rest areas.
The Government Camp rest area on U.S. Highway 26 near milepost 54 and the Tillamook rest area on U.S. Highway 101 near milepost 70 will be transferred to OTE next month.
In January 2013, management of five rest areas along the I-84 Corridor will be transferred to OTE. They are:
· Memaloose, east and westbound (11 miles west of The Dalles);
· Stanfield, east and westbound (20 miles west of Pendleton)
· Charles Reynolds, east and westbound (9 miles east of La Grande)
· Baker Valley, east and westbound (10 miles west of Baker City)
· And Weatherby, westbound (38 miles west of Ontario)
In January 2014, management of three additional rest areas along the I-5. They are:
· Cabin Creek, north and southbound (20 miles north of Roseburg)
· Gettings Creek, north and southbound (14 miles south of Eugene)
· And Oak Grove, north and southbound (13 miles north of Eugene).